As the sun fell on Halloween, the undead victims of mountain top removal coal mining rose up and descend upon Bank of Americas and Citibanks in Boston. It is no coincidence that while Bank of America and Citibank make a killing on coal, coal is killing Appalachian communities that fall prey to dirty energy companies whose interests in profiting from strip mining outweigh the value of lives and mountain communities. In 2006, Bank of America invested twice as much in dirty energy as it did on clean energy projects. In 2006, Citi’s investments in coal were 200 times greater than their investments in clean energy, making them the number one financier of coal worldwide.
Photos available here.
Mountaintop removal coal mining is the most destructive coal extraction process, where mountains are clear cut, blasted with tons of pounds of dynamite, then the “overburden”, or what used to be the mountain, is shoved into the streams carrying much of our nation’s freshest source of water. The coal is then extracted cheaply from what used to be the mountain, leaving a virtual moonscape. This process and the chemicals involved poisons the air and water of surrounding communities, resulting in cancer, asthma, a plethora of other sicknesses, and death.
Rising Tide Boston and Asheville Rising Tide organized the march with the spirit and energy of the holiday to bring attention to the fact that we are facing a climate and economic crisis. Despite this crisis, big banks are still guilty of irresponsibly funding dirty energy while renewable resources and community solutions are viable and in existence.
There have been hundreds of actions and demonstrations on these two banks over the past two years, from satirical demonstrations like zombie marches to acts of civil disobedience. It is clear that the nation wants CitiBank and Bank of America to stop making a killing on coal. We want banks to invest in the interests of the people and community-based solutions. Wind and solar technology are available, and are much more cost-effective than the mythical and unavailable “clean coal” technology.
If people want to know where to bank or invest responsibly, local credit unions are a good option, and to learn more about the campaign please visit www.dirtymoney.org. For information about Rising Tide Boston, please visit www.risingtideboston.org